Bryston 7B-SST-2 17: Unleashing Audiophile Bliss

Introduction

In the world of audio equipment, high-quality sound amplification is essential for delivering an immersive and captivating listening experience. Whether you’re a music enthusiast, a professional in the recording industry, or simply someone who appreciates crystal-clear sound, having a reliable and powerful amplifier is crucial. In this review, we will explore the Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier, a monophonic power amplifier that promises to elevate your audio experience to new heights.

The Bryston 7B-SST-2 is a part of the High End series of amplifiers from Bryston, a renowned Canadian company known for its commitment to producing top-notch audio equipment. With its exceptional features and impressive specifications, this amplifier is designed to deliver outstanding performance and uncompromising sound quality.

Throughout this review, we will delve into the technical specifications, design and construction, functionality, sound characteristics, sound performance, advantages, value for money, and ultimately provide a comprehensive conclusion on the Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier. So let’s dive in and explore what this amplifier has to offer!

Technical Specifications

The Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier is a monophonic power amplifier that delivers exceptional performance and audio quality. This amplifier operates in the high-end class and features a balanced output cascade design, which significantly reduces harmonic and intermodulation distortions to negligible levels (0.001% or less).

With a power output of 600 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 900 watts per channel into 4 ohms, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 provides ample power reserves, ensuring virtually no overload when driving any type of speakers or playing any genre of music. The amplifier utilizes an AB-class circuitry, allowing it to operate in Class A at lower power levels, eliminating crossover distortion, and seamlessly transitioning to Class B for higher power output.

The Bryston 7B-SST-2 amplifier boasts an impressive signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of -118 dB, ensuring a clean and noise-free audio signal. Additionally, it offers excellent input and output signal matching with a maximum voltage slew rate of 120 V/µs, resulting in enhanced transparency, clarity, and musical depth.

This amplifier supports both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs, providing flexibility for various audio sources. It does not feature built-in digital-to-analog conversion (DAC) or RDS support for FM radio. The amplifier does not have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity options.

In terms of frequency response, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 covers a wide range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, allowing for accurate reproduction of both low and high-frequency sounds. It is compatible with audio formats across the entire audible spectrum.

The impedance of this amplifier is optimized for use with speakers rated at 8 ohms or 4 ohms. This ensures efficient power delivery and compatibility with a wide range of speaker systems.

Overall, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier offers impressive technical specifications, delivering powerful and clean audio performance. Its high power output, low distortion levels, and wide frequency response make it an excellent choice for audiophiles and professionals seeking uncompromising sound quality.

Design and Construction

The Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier showcases a sleek and sophisticated design that is both visually appealing and functional. The amplifier is housed in a sturdy metal chassis, with a thick aluminum front panel adorned with large handles for easy handling. This design not only adds to the amplifier’s aesthetic appeal but also ensures durability and longevity.

One notable aspect of the design is the use of large radiators that completely cover the sides of the amplifier. These radiators are strategically placed to enhance heat dissipation and maintain optimal operating temperatures, contributing to the overall efficiency and reliability of the amplifier.

In terms of construction, Bryston has paid meticulous attention to detail. The electronic components are carefully installed on the amplifier’s circuit board, and all soldering and cable connections are done by hand. This manual assembly process ensures precise placement of components and eliminates any potential issues associated with wave soldering techniques.

The connectors and switches used in the Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier are of exceptional quality. The unit features balanced XLR inputs, as well as a single line-level RCA input. These connectors provide secure and reliable connections, minimizing signal loss or interference.

Additionally, the switches on the amplifier are solidly built and offer a satisfying tactile feel when operated. They are designed to withstand frequent use without compromising their functionality or durability.

Overall, the design and construction of the Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier exemplify excellence in craftsmanship. The attention to detail, high-quality materials, efficient cooling system, and reliable connectors make it a standout choice for audio enthusiasts who value both performance and aesthetics in their audio equipment.

Functionality

The Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier offers a wide range of functionality to cater to different audio sources. With its 1 linear RCA input, 1 balanced XLR input, and 1/4″ TRS input, this amplifier allows you to connect various devices such as CD players, computers, smartphones, and more. This versatility ensures that you can easily integrate the amplifier into your existing audio setup.

In terms of operating modes, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 provides a straightforward and user-friendly experience. While it does not have balance controls or tone adjustments, it focuses on delivering pure and unadulterated sound without any unnecessary coloration. This minimalist approach ensures that the audio signal remains faithful to the original recording, allowing you to experience music in its truest form.

Although the amplifier does not have built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities, it excels in its core functionality as a power amplifier. Its single-channel amplification provides ample power output for any type of music or audio system. With its impressive power rating of 600 Watts per channel at 8 Ohms and 900 Watts per channel at 4 Ohms, this amplifier can effortlessly drive even the most demanding speakers.

Overall, while the Bryston 7B-SST-2 may not offer an extensive array of features and adjustments, its focus on delivering exceptional sound quality and reliable performance make it an excellent choice for audiophiles and professionals alike. Its simplicity in functionality allows for ease of use and ensures that the audio signal remains pure and unaltered.

Sound Characteristics

The Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier delivers exceptional sound characteristics that will leave any audiophile in awe. The attention to detail and precision in its design result in a sound quality that is truly remarkable.

One of the standout features of this amplifier is its ability to provide incredible instrument separation. Each instrument is distinct and well-defined, allowing for a more immersive listening experience. Whether it’s the delicate plucking of a guitar string or the subtle nuances of a piano, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 brings out every intricate detail with stunning clarity.

The bass response of this amplifier is nothing short of impressive. It delivers deep, tight, and controlled bass that adds depth and impact to any music genre. Whether you’re listening to rock, jazz, or electronic music, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 ensures that the low-end frequencies are reproduced accurately and with authority.

The treble clarity of this amplifier is another standout feature. The highs are crisp, detailed, and never harsh or sibilant. It captures every shimmering cymbal crash and delicate violin note with precision and finesse. The overall balance between the lows, mids, and highs is impeccably maintained, resulting in a natural and engaging sound presentation.

When it comes to different music genres, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 excels across the board. It effortlessly handles the dynamic range of classical music, allowing for a lifelike reproduction of orchestral performances. For rock and pop genres, it provides a punchy and energetic sound that brings out the power and energy of electric guitars and drums. Jazz enthusiasts will appreciate the amplifier’s ability to reproduce the subtleties of acoustic instruments with exceptional accuracy.

In summary, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier delivers an unparalleled sound experience. Its impressive instrument separation, tight bass response, clear treble, and overall balanced sound presentation make it a top choice for audiophiles who demand the best. Regardless of the music genre, this amplifier enhances the listening experience and brings music to life in a way that is truly captivating.

Sound Performance

The sound performance of the Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier is nothing short of exceptional. It has the ability to transport listeners into a captivating auditory experience, where every note and nuance is faithfully reproduced with astonishing clarity and precision.

One of the standout qualities of this amplifier is its ability to deliver a wide dynamic range, allowing for both subtle details and powerful crescendos to be heard with incredible impact. The amplifier effortlessly handles complex musical passages, ensuring that each instrument and vocal is distinct and well-defined within the soundstage.

When it comes to tonal balance, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 excels in maintaining accuracy across the entire frequency spectrum. The lows are deep and controlled, providing a solid foundation for bass-heavy tracks without overpowering or muddying the overall sound. The midrange is rich and warm, allowing vocals and instruments to shine with natural timbre and presence. The highs are crisp and detailed, offering a level of transparency that brings out intricate details in recordings.

Regardless of the genre or type of music being played, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 ensures an immersive listening experience that captures the essence of the original recording. From delicate acoustic performances to energetic rock anthems, this amplifier faithfully reproduces audio signals with remarkable fidelity.

Furthermore, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 maintains its composure even at high volumes, never faltering or distorting under demanding conditions. This allows for an uninterrupted listening experience, where the full potential of your speakers can be realized without any compromise in sound quality.

In conclusion, the sound performance of the Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier is truly outstanding. Its ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals with clarity, dynamics, and tonal balance across different frequency ranges sets it apart from other amplifiers in its class. Whether you are a discerning audiophile or a professional in the music industry, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 is sure to impress with its exceptional sound performance.

Advantages

The Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier offers several notable advantages that set it apart from its competitors in the market.

First and foremost, the amplifier’s balanced output circuitry significantly reduces harmonic and intermodulation distortions to negligible levels (0.001% or less). This ensures a clean and accurate audio reproduction, allowing you to experience your music with exceptional clarity and precision.

Furthermore, the monoblock design of the 7B-SST-2 allows for optimal placement near the speakers, minimizing cable resistance and enhancing overall performance. This design choice not only improves the efficiency of the amplifier but also contributes to a more immersive listening experience.

In terms of power output, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 is a powerhouse. With continuous power delivery of 600 watts per channel into 8 ohms or a staggering 900 watts per channel into 4 ohms, this amplifier boasts substantial reserves of power that ensure distortion-free performance even with demanding speakers and dynamic music.

Another advantage of the Bryston 7B-SST-2 lies in its low noise floor, measuring at less than -118 dB. This exceptional signal-to-noise ratio allows for an incredibly quiet background, enabling finer details and nuances in your music to shine through without any unwanted distractions.

When comparing the Bryston 7B-SST-2 to other models in its price range, it becomes evident that this amplifier offers unparalleled build quality and craftsmanship. Each unit is meticulously hand-assembled by skilled technicians, ensuring precise placement of electronic components and impeccable soldering connections. Additionally, Bryston’s rigorous quality control measures guarantee that every amplifier undergoes extensive testing to ensure flawless performance before leaving the factory.

Overall, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier stands out for its exceptional sound quality, robust power output, low noise floor, and meticulous construction. Its ability to deliver a transparent and immersive listening experience, coupled with its superior build quality, makes it a top contender in its price range and an excellent investment for audiophiles seeking the best in audio performance.

Value for Money

The Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier offers exceptional value for money, combining outstanding performance, advanced features, and a reasonable price point. When considering the amplifier’s performance capabilities, it becomes evident that it offers a remarkable level of power and precision. With the ability to continuously deliver 600 watts per channel into an 8-ohm load or 900 watts into a 4-ohm load, this amplifier possesses substantial power reserves, ensuring distortion-free playback even with demanding speakers and dynamic music genres.

Furthermore, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 boasts an impressive signal-to-noise ratio of 113 dB, guaranteeing a clean and transparent audio reproduction. The low noise floor allows for enhanced clarity and detail retrieval, enabling listeners to fully immerse themselves in their favorite music. Additionally, the amplifier’s ability to reproduce frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz ensures a full and accurate representation of the audio spectrum.

In terms of features, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 offers both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs, providing flexibility in connecting various audio sources. The inclusion of a balanced input allows for improved noise rejection and signal integrity. While it may lack certain modern conveniences such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, the focus on core performance features ensures that users receive uncompromising audio quality.

Considering its price point in relation to its performance capabilities and build quality, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 represents excellent value for money. Bryston has established itself as a renowned manufacturer known for its meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail. Each unit undergoes rigorous testing and quality control measures to ensure optimal performance and reliability.

While there may be amplifiers available at lower price points, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 justifies its cost through its exceptional audio performance and robust construction. Investing in this amplifier ensures a long-lasting and gratifying listening experience, making it a worthwhile investment for both audiophiles and professionals seeking uncompromising sound quality.

In conclusion, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier offers outstanding value for money by delivering exceptional performance, versatile features, and a solid build quality. Its ability to reproduce music with accuracy and power, combined with its reasonable price point, makes it a compelling choice for those seeking high-end audio performance without breaking the bank. Whether used in a home audio setup or professional studio environment, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 is sure to impress even the most discerning listeners.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier is a powerhouse in the world of high-end audio equipment. With its balanced output circuitry, it achieves incredibly low levels of harmonic and intermodulation distortion, resulting in an exceptionally clean and transparent sound. The amplifier’s ability to deliver 600 watts per channel at 8 ohms or 900 watts at 4 ohms ensures that it can handle any type of music or speaker system with ease.

The design and construction of the Bryston 7B-SST-2 are top-notch. The amplifier features a signature Bryston design with a sturdy metal chassis, thick aluminum front panel, and large heat sinks that effectively dissipate heat. The attention to detail in the assembly process is evident, with all electronic components hand-mounted and soldered for optimal quality.

Functionally, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 offers both balanced and unbalanced inputs, providing flexibility in connecting various audio sources. However, it lacks features such as a remote control or built-in DAC, which may be important considerations for some buyers.

When it comes to sound characteristics, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 truly shines. It delivers a level of transparency and musical depth that is unparalleled. The soundstage is wide and immersive, with excellent instrument separation and clarity. The amplifier’s ability to handle dynamic peaks effortlessly ensures that no detail is lost even during complex musical passages.

In terms of value for money, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 falls on the higher end of the price spectrum. However, considering its exceptional build quality, powerful performance, and unrivaled audio reproduction, it is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment for audiophiles who demand the best.

In conclusion, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier is a true testament to Bryston’s commitment to excellence in audio engineering. Its impeccable design, powerful performance, and exceptional sound characteristics make it a standout choice for discerning music enthusiasts. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of some other amplifiers on the market, its focus on delivering pure, unadulterated sound is unmatched.

Potential buyers should consider their specific needs and preferences when considering the Bryston 7B-SST-2. If you prioritize sonic purity, transparency, and the ability to drive even the most demanding speakers effortlessly, this amplifier is an ideal choice. However, if you require features such as remote control or built-in DAC, you may need to explore other options.

Overall, the Bryston 7B-SST-2 17″ amplifier sets a new standard for audio performance and represents a true investment in musical enjoyment. With its exceptional build quality and stunning sound reproduction, it is sure to satisfy even the most discerning audiophiles.

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